More on Sasha Banks doing signing appearances

Jul 14, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

New details are being revealed on Sasha Banks taking non-WWE bookings.

As noted on Wednesday, it was revealed that Banks is set to make her first non-WWE appearance at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Banks is being billed by her real name “Mercedes Varnado” on the official C2E2 2022 website. The times she will be appearing are still listed as TBA. Banks will be available for $90 photo ops and $70 autographs at her table.

In an update, the announcement on Banks’ first non-WWE appearance prompted many convention promoters to reach out for potential bookings. A new report from Fightful Select notes that promoters were told they couldn’t book Banks until 2023.

Banks’ reps were reportedly quoting promoters a firm, specific rate for her signing appearances. Wrestling promoters attempting to book Banks were told that she was only taking non-wrestling related bookings until January 1.

There’s a general feeling that this upcoming convention booking all but confirms that Banks has secured her WWE release, as has been reported. She and Naomi remain on the WWE website roster as SmackDown Superstars as of this writing.

There’s no word yet on if Banks not accepting wrestling booking sis a personal preference or tied to something contractual, but we will keep you updated.

It was noted by PWInsider on Wednesday how Banks has been independently setting up signing appearances for the fall. This C2E2 appearance would be Banks’ first appearance since she and Naomi walked out of a WWE RAW taping in mid-May.

As we’ve noted, Banks and Naomi both recently removed WWE from their Instagram profiles, and Naomi removed WWE from her Twitter bio. WWE recently deleted both of their official Facebook pages, and they were was also removed from the WWE TV intros at one point. Banks’ avatar was also removed from Peacock. It was reported last week that Banks and Naomi were removed from the internal WWE roster, and that the WWE creative team is operating on the assumption that they are not returning whatsoever. One creative source added that they have not heard of any contingency plans or creative prepared in the event that things change to where Banks and Naomi return. There’s also been no update or internal talk on the tournament to crown new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.

It’s been reported by two sources that Banks’ release was secured in early June, but no other sources have corroborated that news, and WWE has not confirmed the departure either. Banks and Naomi reportedly walked out of RAW at the May 16 show, due to frustration over creative. WWE then stripped them of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, and announced that the two were suspended indefinitely. It was later revealed that they were suspended without pay. Their merchandise was also pulled for the duration of the suspension.

3 Responses

  1. Motorhead says:

    Strictly from a legal perspective, simply “securing” a release doesn’t, in fact, mean an individual has actually earned the release. Depending on the type of contract Banks last signed, including length, non-performance clauses, etc., the only “securing” that can actually be done is simple negotiation. Depending on how many years (in months) the contract has left Banks attorneys will whittle that number down to something WWE can live with while WWE will seek certain financial compromises from Banks, i.e., no merch, no promotion across multi-media platforms, no pay. The result will be, as always, a structured NDA that will give Banks an early exit from her WWE contract on or around Dec. 31, 2022, for a reduced portion of Banks remaining salary and, depending on how badly Banks wants to work over having the cash, some version of the typical non-compete clause, ties, as always, to the length of the non-compete. However, given that Banks will serve almost twice the length of the typical non-compete clause as she awaits her exit, my guess would be that there would be no non-compete clause and Banks will walk away with a hefty payday.

    As a fan, I hope Banks works this out and stays with WWE. There’s no one in AEW or Impact or MLW that can hang with Banks. She’d have to dumb her work down to the point of sloppy (which it is as times even on great day) which doesn’t help anybody. She’d become bored in AEW, for example, with the lack of truly top tier wrestlers to challenge her. The pop of her debut, surprise or not, and the tongue-in-cheek booking will scratch an itch but not the one Banks needs scratched the most: being the top star on the biggest stage. This leads to another issue I’ve had with WWE turning the ladies into marks fro themselves, something Stephanie has openly participated in. Doing that creates mark junkies out of the wrestlers and clouds their understanding of the work there doing. There’s only room at the top for a select few at a time. Everybody that’s worthy gets a chance to shine somewhere near the top at some point. Banks, like Buddy Rogers, believes the hype that’s said and written about her by fans, as if she’s actually “won” any of her matches or titles. Banks, and others, seem to forget that the pencil controls their fate. It’s all about stories. It’s all about roles. Banks seems to have forgotten hers and willfully tanks another wrestler’s career in the process. What a waste. In ten years, will anybody even remember Naomi? Will anyone still care, in the least, about Banks? Shortsighted decisions create long-term headaches. It all comes down to unintended consequences.

  2. John says:

    $70 and $90 just to do those things, no thanks I’ll pass.

  3. John says:

    I would rather donate my money to charity than do that.

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